THE NEXT STEP - Advocates Against Domestic Violence
OUR STORY 
THE NEXT STEP
 
 
Meet the new *Monica Fenner*, a 37 year old Domestic Violence Survivor. She has been blessed with two wonderful sons Darian 15 and Phillip 7 years of age. My experience with Domestic Violence was in three stages. Stage # 1 was at a tender age of 16, it's the beginning/naive/introduction syndrome. Stage # 2 developing age of 22, it's the middle/aware/noticing syndrome. And then there was Stage # 3 at a mature age of 28 it's the end, fed up, enough is enough. She looks
back every now and then only to reflect where GOD has brought her from
and to continue to look forward because she can see where GOD is taking her.
 
An advocate against domestic violence. Monica shares her stories, pains,
endurance, to whomever when she ministers about the experiences she has
encountered. One thing she does know is there's always a way out, but you
must have GOD to guide you. There's no such thing as I can not do it.  You
can do it with GOD!  Everyday GOD is still helping Monica in all things and
she allows Him to guide her. As GOD being her navigation system, everything
is working for her good. What took so long, She doesn't have the answer to
what happened yesterday, but as of now, today she is a CONQUEROR,
VICTORIOUS, and most of all a SURVIVOR!  Her experiences in each situation allowed her to see herself as *SPECIAL*. Many are called but few are chosen. Monica is chosen, her life has made her a believer. She has known CHRIST since she was in her mother's womb. Not really knowing that she couldn't do a single thing without GOD, she had done things in her own strength. Looking for love in all the
wrong places but the right place which caused her a lot of pain. Once she
decided to try CHRIST and love on GOD and allow GOD's love to satisfy her
completely, was the best turnaround in her life. 
 
Monica really enjoys being in The Next Step Ministry.  When she was going
through all that she endured, being laughed at, talked about, and put down
by many who she thought loved her, (friends, men and family), use to make
her wonder, "Why GOD? Why me?" This ministry has cleared the cloudy, smoking view by showing her all the time that GOD was using her to get HIS glory out of her story. Not everyone is equipped to be used by GOD. It's truly a trying process,
but only for GOD to get the best out of you. The precious gems are found
at the bottom of the sea only to be raised up.  Monica sees herself as a precious gem. Her life was at the bottom only to be risen in GOD's perfect timing,
just like JESUS. Then GOD responded to her, Why not you? And that changed
her life forever.
 
 
 
PAMELA WEAVER
The domestic abuse that Pamela shares about is not of the physical abuse, but of abuse that still hurt deeply and scares.  It took strength and courage to overcome.  Mental and Emotional....
 
She was only 20 years old when she got married in the early 70’s.  She tells how she hastedly married a man that she met on her job at the police department after dating him for just 6 months.  She knew it was too soon, but she grew up in a household with two verbally abusive parents and was in need of a way out.  She thought it would be logical to do so with this man since she thought she was in love.
 
Pamela remained in a cold, loveless, bitter, and for the most part, silent marriage for over 25 years. Her husband was never home, and left her to be a housewife after convincing her to quit her career so that he could “take care of her”.  While he did provide financially, he was never supportive of her spiritually or mentally.  For the better part of their marriage they never even slept in the same room.
 
It took Pamela a long time to realize she deserved better for herself and enough was enough.  She stopped looking at herself and looking at her husband, and began to look to God!  God was waiting for her to take THE NEXT STEP
 
 
LAKISHA HOWARD
We Thank God for Lakisha.  She brings to the Team knowledge beyond her years.  She is transparent and shares the road she traveled to get to where she is now. She relates to those that may feel the road is lonely.  As you listen to her testimony you can see and feel all she has gone through.. BUT GOD!!!! Yes,  she proclaims that where she is today has been all due to His Grace.  In the mist of the persecution she suffered to protect herself and her son.... GOD has given  her a ministry like none other. Through her transparency she helps you to understand why education and knowledge of your rights as a woman  is key.  She shares how to be a SURVIVOR.  Knowing the steps you should take to protect, prepare and to pursue your freedom to safety...know your rights.  Wisdom is key.  As you listen to her be prepared to have her touch the inner place.  You may see your mother, your sister, your friend, your daughter, your aunt, your cousin or even yourself........As she speaks there is not a dry eye in the place. 
 
THANK YOU MY LITTLE SISTER FOR ALLOWING GOD TO USE YOU, CONTINUE TO WALK IN WHAT HE HAS FOR YOU AND HE WILL PROVIDE!!!!
 
 
 AMANDA DONALDSON
 
A survivor of domestic violence, married her childhood sweetheart at the age of 18. Being a committed Minister of God's word, a devoted wife, mother of two children, and a federal government employee became very difficult as her husband became an alcoholic, drug addict, adulterer, and wife beater. She tried taking her life several times because of the pain and doctrine of her former church to pray and stay. After developing cancer because of so much abuse......by the grace of God, she knew she had to do something for her and the children's safety. Needless to say, she turned from God and the ministry, but He never left her nor the calling on her life to "Feed His Sheep." Looking back, she now knows that the type of men she attracted were only because she was looking for love in all the wrong places and had been molested, beaten, and permanently scarred by her father. She'd been raised seeing her mother beaten unmercifully and also seeing her future father-in-law drunk, and verbally and physically beating his wife. At a very early age she and her fiancee  promised each other that they would get married, go to church, have children, and never hurt each other. She tried to keep her promise, however, he broke his early in the marriage. Amanda has learned that when you have unresolved hurt.....it governs your future, the decisions you make, and the type of men or women you attract. After all these years of enduring pain caused by her two children, she understands that until a curse is broken in a family (no matter what it is).....it will just keep passing from one generation to the next. She thanks God that today she and her daughter, Monica are members of "The Next Step."
 
LINDA SHAW
FOUNDER/CEO
PSALMS 18:16-20 16 He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. 18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. 19 He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me. 
 
This  passage is Linda's testimony.  God reached down and rescued her for his  PURPOSE. Not understanding why God allowed her to endure 17 years of domestic violence, Linda has witnessed first hand the different types of abuse. Out of the pain and endurance came her answer....with the passion and purpose to educate and assist women that are victim to this epidemic.   She knows what is needed to survive and  she shares her knowledge unselfishly with others as she shares her testimonies as a survivor.  She has the desire to help women transition into safety. Knowing first hand what it feels like to be afraid to let anyone  know what you are living with and to ask the questions,  or to reach out for help and being transparent, speaking out for those that can't and to speak and present the victims case in front of legislatures is her way to help other women. She envisioned a panel of women that would educate, be that much needed voice,  and yeilded vessels to help other women. And from there THE NEXT STEP was birthed. 
 
 
We at THE NEXT STEP would welcome the opportunity to work with you and help you to take  THE NEXT STEP into your PURPOSE!!
THE NEXT STEP 301 627-7139
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